Student initiative organises female network meeting
Brandenburg an der Havel, 23 October 2020
Last Thursday, the “Theaterklause” in Brandenburg an der Havel was the location for the first MHB network meeting for women. The student initiative for gender equality “Theodora stellt gleich” had invited women and persons defining themselves as females. The idea is to establish a regular event as a forum for exchange on specific challenges facing women in occupational and social contexts.
Due to the current Corona pandemic, only 10 out of 30 originally registered women attended the event in strict accordance with regulations of hygiene and distance. Introductions by Rebecca Lehmann and Cindy Stern were followed by an exchange of experience in a circle of chairs. One focus was on female executives in medicine; an attending female chief physician shared personal experience from clinical practice, e.g. as the only female in meetings with head physicians. Descriptions how specific roles and tasks are generally assigned to women, irrespective of their position, provided valuable insights for the attending students in terms of potential leading positions in their future careers. They were actively encouraged to support principles of parity.
Lilith Bechinger followed with a keynote speech on the “glass ceiling in the medical profession”, i.e. on the phenomenon that women are rare in top positions. Examples from hospital and university settings were discussed, as well as necessary measures to implement parity in executive positions. Some strategies to achieve parity and create an awareness for the issue were debated and will be addressed at future meetings.
Charlotte Buhre presented results from a survey on “sexism at the MHB” from the campaign day against sexism in December 2019, followed by another debate on survey items such as “sexually explicit jokes, supposedly funny comments and stories told in my presence”.
The first female network meeting concluded after three hours of intensive conversation, a meal together, much laughter and much deliberation.
Summing up the successful event, a member of the student initiative described the participants as energetic and highly motivated. The format of future meetings is not yet established, but further network meetings will definitely follow.
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